With increased demand amid the new coronavirus concerns, the Christian Help Center faces a food shortage that could force the center to stop food distribution.
Director Cynthia Wilson said the center’s on-site meals have been canceled as a result of the ban on inside dining, but the center continues to offer food Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Donations can be made on those days between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
“People come to our door and we take their name and how many are in their household and then they step around to our donation door and we hand them their food,” Wilson said.
Wilson said the center is also seeing an increase in demand.
“We’re not just doing our clients – we’re doing anybody else because a lot of people are being laid off and haven’t got unemployment yet,” she said. “We’re trying to help those folks also get food. If anybody shows up at our door, we will try to help them with some food as long as we have it.”
Wilson said the increase was expected.
“We have normal clients who come in and get their food, but we have a lot of people who are coming in who aren’t our clients and that’s OK,” she said. “We just get their name and how many are in their house to determine how much we give them and we’re not limiting anybody in this time of crisis.”
But that could all cease.
Wilson said a lack of donations and shortages at grocery stores could cause the center to stop its distribution.
“I can predict in another week, if it doesn’t pick up, we won’t be able to give food to people, but we hope that we can continue to do that,” Wilson said.
The rush for toilet paper has also caused the center to give one roll of toilet paper to each person who receives food.
Wilson explained that the center receives a load of food on the second week of each month from the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.
“That’s enough food for maybe a week or two,” she said. “Once that goes away, we’re totally reliant on what people donate from Person County. It all depends on how well those donations come in.”
Wilson said the Food Bank is currently out of meat, but has been sending canned meat and local donations of eggs have helped provide a source of protein.
“If we’re going to continue through this and people are going to continue to wipe out the stores, we’re gonna need some help,” she said. “We have to all pull together, so if anybody’s got a little extra something at home or happens to run into it when they’re at the grocery store that would be nice if they’d pick up some extra for the people of Person County.”